In recent years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed a number of management liability lawsuits against the executives of companies that have experienced high-profile data breaches. These lawsuits have either been filed as shareholder derivative lawsuits or securities class action lawsuits. By and large, the cases filed as shareholder derivative lawsuits have been unsuccessful. However, in a development that represents a milestone in several different respects, the parties to the Yahoo data breach-related derivative lawsuit have agreed to settle the case for $29 million. As discussed below, this settlement may have important implications for future data breach-related derivative litigation. The Court’s January 4, 2019 order approving the settlement can be found here (see calendar Line 5 in the order).
Continue Reading Yahoo Data Breach-Related Derivative Suit Settled for $29 Million

In a development in an enforcement action that is the first of its kind, the SEC has levied a $35 million penalty against Altaba, Inc. as successor in interest to Yahoo, for Yahoo’s two-year delay in reporting the massive data breach the company experienced in December 2014. Altaba, which neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing, agreed to pay the penalty as part of the settled resolution of SEC cease-and-desist proceedings. The penalty follows the SEC’s recent release of cybersecurity disclosure guidance for reporting companies and clearly indicates that the agency is increasingly focused on companies’ cybersecurity disclosure practices. The SEC’s April 24, 2018 press release about the penalty can be found here. The SEC’s April 24, 2018 order in the cease-and-desist proceedings can be found here.
Continue Reading First-Ever SEC Data Breach Disclosure Enforcement Penalty Imposed

yahooEver since the SEC released its cyber security disclosure guidelines in October 2011, commentators (including me) have been speculating whether the agency might try to nab a company whose disclosure practices the agency might use as sort of a test case on the guidelines’ requirements.  It now appears, at least based on media reports, the SEC is investigating Yahoo in what may yet become the long-anticipated test case. According to a front page January 23, 2017 Wall Street Journal article (here), the SEC has opened an investigation looking into Yahoo, Inc.’s disclosures of two massive data breaches the company reported last year.
Continue Reading Will Yahoo’s Data Breach Reporting Become the Test Case for the SEC’s Cyber Disclosure Guidelines?